The Highly Reliable Hospital: Creating a Facility for a HRO

When:  Aug 8, 2017 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM (ET)
Earn 1.0 AIA LU/HSW | Tuesday, August 8, 2017 | 2–3pm EDT


Aircraft carriers. Nuclear power plants. Air traffic control systems. Hospitals. Safety must be hard-wired into these complex, high-stakes environments to ensure they consistently operate safely under challenging circumstances. Aircraft carriers, power plants, and air traffic control have all been identified as Highly Reliable Organizations (HROs) with specific characteristics designed to minimize risk. Sharp HealthCare, San Diego, brings this concept to its operations. Sharp is a not-for-profit system having earned the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, Magnet recognition and Planetree designation. As part of Sharp’s ongoing journey of performance improvements strengthening “The Sharp Experience” the health system is working towards becoming an HRO.

This session will illustrate how the team of SmithGroupJJR/AVRP & Hensel Phelps, working with Sharp’s leadership, created the new Ocean View Tower, a 170,000-sf, 138-bed Hospital addition, to go beyond just “good practice” to “hard-wire the environment” for zero harm to patients, visitors, and staff. The panel of Owner, Architect and Contractor will describe planning, designing, and constructing from each of their perspectives. “Architecture meets Operation” and “Separate is Safe” during construction became the project mantras. From small room details to large concepts of building circulation routes through to construction practices, the project demonstrates heightened attention to promote HRO.

Learning objectives

After participating in this webinar attendees will be equipped to:

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  1. Identify the key principles of a Highly Reliable Organization (HRO) and the steps involved, from an owner's perspective, to create a health facility to support this.
  2. Explore healthcare that are hard-wired for patient, visitor and staff safety.
  3. Describe environmental factors that promote best practices for infection control (and inhibit the practice of anything less).
  4. Learn construction planning techniques to create the "separate is safe" work environments in the expansion or renovation of a health facility. Explore how to work with hospital staff to develop multi-level plans to prevent construction activity from adversely affecting patient care.

Ideal audience

Architects, Interior Designers, Healthcare facilities Executives and Facility Managers.



Rita Ho, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Rita has 20 years of experience in the field of architecture and close to 15 years in healthcare projects in U.S. & Asia. Rita is currently co-chair of the AIA Academy of Architecture for Health Webinar Committee. 



Matt Richter, AIA, ACHA

Matt Richter, AIA, ACHA has provided planning and design services for more than 50 million sf of healthcare construction in the last 31 years. Matt has been extensively involved with the creation of healthcare facilities across the U.S. and internationally. Involving his clients and facility users, Matt enjoys creating a design process that is resourceful, interactive, and produces buildings with lasting value. From programming and concept design, to construction and final implementation, Matt continuously advocates for a balance of lean operational planning and quality design. Matching innovation solutions to the culture of the people and place is his driving goal.


Christine Basiliere

As an accomplished hospital and nursing executive for over 25 years, Christine Basiliere has led multiple patient care departments at Sharp HealthCare, one of the most prestigious integrated healthcare systems in California earning the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. By closely aligning nursing practice to innovation and the aims of quality, access, and costs underpinning Sharp HealthCare’s mission, she consistently elevates the voice and value of nursing and the care delivery team. Christine was recognized as a “Distinguished Woman of the Year by Assembly woman Lorena Gonzales of the 80th district of California for leadership in her profession. Christine’s background includes extensive work in clinical informatics, medication safety, advancing the evidence-based practice agenda, and redesigning operational processes to transform the healthcare experience for patients and providers.

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View the Presentation Files
When available, you can download a copy of the presentation and the Q&A here. A PDF of the presentation will be posted prior to the live webinar, and the Q&A will be posted after the webinar. Continuing Education Hours are only offered during the live event.

Report AIA Continuing Education
Continuing Education hours are only offered during the live event, and only to AIA members. A link to a survey will be provided both at the end of the webinar and in a follow-up email sent one hour after the end of the webinar. This survey must be completed in order to receive credit. AIA members will have their credit recorded within two weeks.

PLEASE NOTE: Each AIA member or IDP record holder needs to fill out their own survey individually. The survey will close 48 hours after the conclusion of the presentation.

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